Recognize that talking about personal issues can be a challenge
Talking about your experience can be a challenge at times, but it’s worth it. By being vocal, you can develop more coping skills, stronger relationships and a better sense of yourself.
Talk about your goals
Consider what living well with a mental health condition means to you and discuss what specifically you want to get out of your care.
Tell your professional support team the truth about how you’re feeling, so they can formulate the most effective plan to help you. Consider whether you’re satisfied with how you’re progressing and speak up if—regardless of progress—there are elements of your care not working the way you’d like. If, after discussing your concerns, you're still not comfortable, you might consider looking for alternative professional support.
Share any concerns about your overall health
Your mental health and overall health are connected, so it is important to think holistically and work with your professional support team to take care of yourself from head to toe.
Keep an open mind
Work with your professional support team to consider new ways of thinking and behaving that might help improve your way of life.
Telling those around you that you’re living with a mental health condition can be helpful. It can also seem intimidating. To make the process easier, be prepared. Get more information on how to approach talking with friends, family, coworkers and romantic partners.
Advocating for your mental health in the workplace can be an important factor in living well. A key step is understanding what resources are available to help support a healthy work experience.
Being informed and playing an active role in your mental health care is important. If you’re visiting a mental health professional for the first time, consider asking these questions at your first appointment to decide if this healthcare professional will work for you.
To speak more comprehensively with your health care professional about your specific treatment, think about using these questions.
Partnering With Your Professional Support Team
"People need to speak up about what they want for mental health care. They also need to be partners with their doctors and others in their support teams in making choices. Personalized plans using holistic approaches are always the best."Ken Duckworth, M.D., medical director for the National Alliance on Mental Illness and an assistant clinical professor at Harvard University Medical School
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance Wellness Toolbox
The DBSA Wellness Toolbox includes tools to help you communicate better with your health care professional, keep track of your symptoms and moods, and record the progress you're making.
ULifeline is an anonymous, confidential, online resource center, where college students can be comfortable searching for information regarding emotional health.
Mental Health America Finding Help
Finding Help provides access to information about a wide range of treatments and support that can be used to help improve your mental health.
National Alliance on Mental Illness Taking Care of Your Health
Taking Care of Your Health provides information on looking after your overall health.
National Council for Behavioral Health Get Trained in Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid is a public education program that can help individuals across the community to understand mental health conditions, support timely intervention, and save lives.
- Mental Health America. Get Professional Health if You Need it. [Internet]. Available from: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/get-professional-help-if-you-need-it.. Accessed January 26, 2015 (To Access: Home, Living Well, Live Your Life Well, Ten Tools, Professional Help If You Need It).
- Mental Health America. Ten Tools. [Internet]. Available from: http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/ten-tools.. Accessed March 9, 2015 (To Access: Home, Living Well, Live Your Life Well, Ten Tools).